How is Gold used?

gold medicine ampule and a computer chip

Gold is chemically very stable. It does not readily combine with other substances and, therefore, does not corrode or tarnish. Because of this property, it is almost always found in nature as pure gold. This is referred to as "native gold".

This meant that the early humans could collect the gold and use it without having to smelt or refine the metal from a mineral - such is the case of iron.

Also, because gold is soft and does not tarnish or corrode, it makes excellent jewellery, it is a good material for filling cavities in teeth, and it makes excellent fine wire for electronics.

Gold is very reflective, so it is used to protect spacecraft and satellites from solar radiation. Industrial and medical lasers use gold-coated reflectors to focus light energy.

NEXT: Read about how Gold is formed, or do the next quiz question.

Minerals Downunder Exploration Contents